Get Your Tax Refund for Free by Filing Online

At best, most people have a “special” relationship with the IRS. At worst, some people believe that “Taxation is theft.” The latter may have been true back before the American Revolution when the British colonies were subject to taxation without representation by the crown.

But today, in a large, complex society like ours, where we do have representatives who are supposed to work in the government on our behalf, taxation is a necessity. There are many things that we take for granted on a daily basis which our taxes make possible.

But I digress.

Whether you do your taxes happily each year, cower in fear of IRS or believe them to be evil incarnate, if you find yourself filing this year (which we highly recommend), you can do so for FREE!

And the IRS makes it easy for you to do just that. They have a program called Free File, in which many reputable tax companies participate.

In the same spirit, we’re making it even easier for you to file your taxes for free or at a very low cost. The following are the IRS-approved online software for doing your taxes. Of course, there are some restrictions—it wouldn’t be fitting of the IRS if there weren’t—so always check with the company if you’re not sure that you qualify. If you are fortunate enough to receive a refund near the national average of $2,860, be sure to check out our tips to maximize your refund here.

If you do not qualify for a free return with the companies below, you can still take advantage of their extremely affordable rates for both federal and state returns, which are lower than the national average tax preparation fees.

In no particular order:

FileYourTaxes.com

With FileYourTaxes.com, you can file a free federal tax return if you meet these requirements:

  1. Your 2016 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is between $9,000 and $64,000
  2. AND you are between the ages of 15 and 65

Filing state tax returns are free for Iowa, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Vermont. All other state returns cost $26.50.

If you don’t qualify for Free File, federal returns start at $39.75. State returns start at $26.50.

Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for some states

TurboTax® All FreeSM

To file a free federal return with TurboTax®:

  1. Your 2016 AGI must be $33,000 or less
  2. OR you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit

Federal returns that do not qualify for the Turbo Tax Free File program cost between $34.99 and $89.99.

No age restrictions
Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

ezTaxReturn.com

File your federal return for free with ezTaxReturn.com if:

  1. Your 2016 AGI is $64,000 or less
  2. AND you file in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Wisconsin

Federal returns that do not qualify cost $19.95. Filing of state returns is available for $19.95 in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

No age restrictions

FreeTaxUSA® IRS Free File Edition

File a free federal and state return with FreeTaxUSA if:

  1. Your 2016 AGI is $51,000 or less and your age is between 17 and 60
  2. OR you were on active military duty in 2016 and your 2016 AGI was $64,000 or less

For returns that don’t qualify, filing costs are between $0 and $12.95.

Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

1040.com Free File Edition

1040.com offers free filing of federal returns if the following requirements are met:

  1. Your 2016 AGI is $58,000 or less and your age is 52 or younger
  2. OR you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit
  3. OR you are an active duty military member with an AGI of $64,000 or less

All state returns can be filed with federal for only $14.95.

Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address

eSmart Free File Edition

With eSmart you can file a free federal return when:

  1. Your 2016 AGI is $64,000 or less and your age is between 18 and 54
  2. OR you are active duty military and your 2016 AGI is under $64,000

Returns that do not qualify cost $19.95. Returns for the following states also cost $19.95:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, District of Columbia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.*

*State availability may vary

Free1040TaxReturn.com

To file your federal return for free with Free1040TaxReturn.com, you must:

  1. Have a 2016 AGI of $64,000 or less
    1. AND be 70 years old or younger
    2. AND live in any state, except for Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas or Washington
  2. OR you are active or reserve military and your 2016 AGI is $64,000 or less

If you don’t qualify for a free federal return, filing costs $24.95. State returns that do not qualify cost $39.95.

Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for some states

Free File at OLT.com

Both federal and state returns are free for all states with OLT.com if:

  1. Your 2016 AGI is between $13,000 and $64,000
  2. OR you are active military duty with a 2016 AGI of $64,000 or less

If you don’t qualify for Free File, federal and state tax returns cost $7.95 each.

No age restrictions
Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address

TaxAct® Free File

TaxAct offers free filing of a federal return if:

  1. Your 2016 AGI is $52,000 or less and one of the following is true:
    1. Your age is 56 or younger
    2. You are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit
  2. OR you are active military and your 2016 AGI is $64,000 or less

If you do not qualify for a free federal returns, filing costs between $27 and $37. State returns cost $33.

Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

H&R Block’s Free File

Both federal and state returns are free with H&R Block if:

  1. Your 2016 AGI is $64,000 or less and one of the following is true:
    1. Your age is between 17 and 50
    2. You are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit
    3. You were active military

If you do not qualify for Free File, federal returns cost $29.99 and state returns cost 36.99

Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for any state

TaxSlayer Free File

File a free federal return with TaxSlayer if:

  1. Your 2016 AGI is $63,000 or less and you are 52 or younger
  2. OR you are active military with a 2016 AGI of less than $64,000

If you do not qualify for a free federal return, filing costs $17. State returns cost $22. Qualifying Georgia state returns are free.

Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address
Same criteria apply for free state return(s) for some states

Free File with 1040NOW.NET

1040NOW.net offers free Federal returns if:

  1. If your 2016 AGI is $64,000 or less
  2. AND you are filing in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont or West Virginia

Same criteria apply when filing with a foreign address

OR

  1. Your 2016 AGI is $64,000 or less
  2. AND you are 60 or younger
  3. AND you file from one of the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, District o Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah or Wisconsin

If you don’t qualify for a free federal return, the cost is $14.95 for a Form 1040-EZ and $19.95 for forms 1040 and 1040A. State returns cost $17.95.

This article is a part of the Couponbox Don’t Tax Yourself! tax guide for individuals. See more tax-related data and advice here.